STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
Report for America corps members will serve the community by doing local reporting that is truthful, fearless and fair.
They will listen carefully, report diligently, and approach their work with an open mind.
They will provide residents with the information they need to improve their communities and hold powerful institutions accountable.
They will not be intimidated by those who want to hide the truth.
If they make a mistake, they will correct it.
They will focus on what’s important, not just what stirs outrage. They will work hard to explain complex situations, without distorting reality through over-simplification.
They will help people better understand their own community, and feel better understood themselves.
They will aspire to strengthen communities, and democracy, through great local public service journalism.
Report For America (RFA) is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to supporting and training a new generation of journalists to cover the most important stories of their generation. GroundTruth is registered as a tax deductible entity under the 501(c)(3) classification of the IRS.
Based at WGBH, the flagship of PBS in Boston, The GroundTruth Project, and hence RFA, has established funding guidelines that adhere closely to the PBS standards and practices for transparency, independence and integrity. RFA is committed to ensuring that the journalism created by its corps members is free from undue influence by funders. To this end:
The news organizations hosting RFA corps members have sole editorial control over the content created for them by corps members and make all publishing decisions.
Donors who contribute to local news organizations that are hosting RFA corps members, or to RFA directly, will not have any influence over the content as a result of their donation.
RFA will only place reporters in news organizations with a stated commitment to not having coverage be influenced by advertisers or donors.
National funding for RFA will flow directly to RFA through The GroundTruth Project. Local funding usually will also flow through RFA via GroundTruth, as the parent organization, which will then subsidize the salary of the reporter. This provides an extra layer of insulation to protect against even an appearance that donations could influence the editorial result.
Unless anonymity is requested by the news organizations, RFA will provide the names of donors above $1000 upon request.
- In our relationships with funders we will take care to avoid any actual or perceived conflicts of interest and the potential for audience confusion of a funder’s role. Report for America and GroundTruth rely on a variety of funding sources. The diversity of funding support helps strengthen our approach and independence.